JEFFERSON CITY - Conflicting views on the impact of the health care bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Missouri were voiced.
The health care bill, which was approved with a 220-215 vote, had Missouri representatives split on partisan lines except for Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., who voted against the bill.
"This is not a positive for small businesses or families," Missouri Republican Party Director Lloyd Smith said. Under this plan, Smith said, the government would eventually be putting insurance companies out of business.
Amy Blouin, the director of Missouri Budget Project -- a non-partisan, non-profit group that analyzes state budgets and encourages a public policy voice for low-income Missourians -- disagreed. She said the bill allows for an affordable option for families and small businesses. "We've analyzed the bill, and it's a pretty solid compromise," she said.
Blouin called the passing of the bill a "significant step forward for a significant amount of people," because it "means so much to so many Missourians."
Over 200,000 people will be aided by the bill, especially low-income Missourians, she said.
Smith, however, said the bill's negatives "far outweighed the positives."
"It doesn't cover a lot, it's more expensive, and it needs tweaking," Smith said.
Smith said the problems that exist in the bill can be fixed with some "tweaks." He said he likes reform but not such an overhaul.
In an e-mail, the governor's spokesman Jack Cardetti said, "The governor has been making his case that Congress must address this issue in a smart way that lowers premiums for families, provides greater access to care and doesn't place unreasonable unfunded mandates on state governments during tough fiscal times."
Cardetti declined a request for an interview.